Investigating the appropriateness of physician-ordered diagnostic computed tomography for patient management in a rural hospital in New South Wales, Australia

E. Barrett, U. Wijenayake, U. Shah, D. Morris, R. Preece, E. Jesulola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

AIM: To examine the performance of “appropriate” versus “inappropriate” computed tomography (CT) and to examine whether physicians who practise in a rural hospital in NSW Australia, achieved imaging appropriateness in their ordering of diagnostic CT examinations. MATERIALS AND METHODS: An audit of the electronic medical records of medical ward inpatients (during the 2016/2017 financial year) was carried out. De-identified data were extracted for all patients who had undergone diagnostic CT while on admission. Using the SPSS analytical software, chi-square tests for independence were conducted to check for difference between appropriate and inappropriate CT imaging. RESULTS: Of all the CT procedures, 92% were found to be appropriate. Appropriate CT confirmed the provisional diagnosis in more instances than inappropriate CT (132 versus three). This observed difference was significant with a small size effect (chi-squared [1, n=362]=8.58, p=0.003, φ=0.16). Similarly, appropriate CT significantly facilitated a change in the proposed direction of care (140 versus 40) (chi-squared [1, n=362]=7.75, p=0.005, φ=0.16). In addition, appropriate CT which confirmed diagnosis, resulted in a change in the proposed direction of care as opposed to inappropriate CT (115 versus one; chi-squared [1, n=362]=8.11, p=0.004, Cramer's V=0.24). CONCLUSION: Specialist physicians who practise in a rural hospital setting achieved CT appropriateness. Appropriate CT is beneficial to patient care. Adhering to recommended imaging guidelines is essential for achieving imaging appropriateness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)977.e17-977.e23
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Radiology
Volume74
Issue number12
Early online date01 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

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